There is an urgent need for parties to decide on their presidential candidates

Dear Editor,

The second half of 2010 is well underway and as the old saying goes time waits on no man ‘or woman’. As the days zip past and time marches steadily onwards, the next general election inches closer, constantly minimizing the time left for meaningful campaigning.

There is urgent need for political parties including the PPP/C to decide on the worthy persons to lead as their presidential candidates so as to give the voting public enough time to assess and to decide on the worthiness of those selected. While political parties should not hastily rush to appoint their leading teams through undemocratic means for the sake of expediency and narrow political ambitions, there needs to be a demonstration of urgency that should at least place the public on notice, preparing them for the likelihood of things to come.

Like most Guyanese, I am aware that each political party has a specific time when it meets as a huge caucus and decides on these matters. But it certainly would not hurt to at least set the process of selecting a presidential candidate in motion a bit early especially now that the obvious writing of coalition politics is boldly on the wall.

Especially, the opposition parties need to work harder at organizing themselves internally, and then present their ideas for the best ways of working together and ensure that those ideas become a part of the ordinary Guyanese psyche.  While waiting on the congresses to decide on the way forward, I strongly believe that attempts should be made at presenting a semblance of the direction of party leaderships as it relates to their respective executives and choices of presidential candidates.

Many Guyanese do not have a clue who will be the PNCR’s presidential candidate. The party so far has not even surreptitiously hinted at those it might have in mind as possible leaders. Guyanese are left to wait and speculate until congress time rolls around. The AFC on the other hand has already made it clear that they will honour the rotation clause in their constitution. So regardless of the rumours peddled that suggest otherwise, that will happen. I don’t see the AFC sacrificing its credibility on the altar of internal constitutional interference.

Again I repeat that there needs to be serious discussions held by the opposition as they prepare for a comprehensive election in 2011.

An effective strategic communication plan needs to be drafted, reviewed, accepted and implemented by the opposition group or groups to be formed to contest the next election and so ladies and gentlemen of the opposition, time is of the essence. Do not let procrastination and complacency, division and mistrust, laziness and unwillingness be a hindrance to proactive political strategizing.

If the opposition is determined to bring change to Guyana, it must ensure that it continues to work hard to mobilize itself and become a strong and viable political machinery, that can inspire Guyanese young and old to become engaged in the change movement that will breathe new life and hope into Guyana in 2011.

Yours faithfully,
Richard Francois

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